White House Down

Ever since mid-April when I saw Olympus Has Fallen I’ve really been looking forward to this year’s second film about the Presidential home being attacked by terrorists. I was underwhelmed in April but I had high hopes for White House Down…

Top Ten: Movie Fathers

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day here in the UK. Depending on your point of view it’s either the ideal opportunity to thank our Dads for everything that they have done for us over the year or a Hallmark Holiday….

Top Ten: Most watched films

Last week Total Film had a feature where their writers named the films they watched most often. I thought it was a great idea so I’m blatantly stealing it for this week’s Top Ten. These aren’t necessarily my favourite films, or the best films ever made, but they are the ones that I have always turned to when looking for something comforting and familiar to watch…

Olympus Has Fallen

It’s a relatively common event for films to come out in pairs – when one studio has an idea for a blockbuster movie you can bet a rival studio is having the same idea at the same time. Asteroid disaster movies Armageddon and Deep Impact were both released in 1998, volcano films Volcano and Dante’s Peak were both 1997…


There’s a debate that rages in literary criticism over how many stories actually exist. Is it, as Joseph Campbell would have us believe, only one – the hero’s journey? Is it Cristopher Booker’s seven basic plots or are there as many as Ronald B Tobias claims – a whole 20? No matter how many narrative arcs actually exist it’s fairly clear that there are very few original stories out there…

Top Ten: Movie Explosions

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Guy Fawkes

One of the best things about Guy Fawkes Night is the plethora of firework displays that take place. I love fireworks, I genuinely oooh and aaah when a rocket goes up and explodes in a flash of bright colours. As you can probably guess I’m also a big fan of loud and bright explosions in movies. I know they aren’t subtle or intelligent but they are great fun….


We all know about the joys of comfort eating. Feeling a little bit poorly or low and digging into a dirty big slice of cake to make it all better. We’ve all done it and all secretly enjoy it. I’m sure it works with movies and books too. Yesterday morning I twisted my back slightly…

The Top 10 Summer Blockbusters

Summer blockbusters

IIt’s summer and we all know what that means – long sunny days, plenty of fresh air and good clean outdoor pursuits. Oh yes, and hours of fun inside an air-conditioned cinema with popcorn, hot dogs and a rattling good summer blockbuster.

There are two main seasons for film releases. In order to qualify for Oscar consideration films must have a theatrical run in Los Angeles County between 1st January and 31st December. This generally means that studios release their worthy, serious films in November and December to keep them fresh in the minds of the Academy voters. If you take a look at the winter releases you can pretty much tell which movies will be the stars of the awards season in the spring but summer is the time for the big-budget, big-star name, big entertainment blockbusters to be released. Also known as the films that we actually pay to go and see….

I have some rules for what can be regarded as a true summer blockbuster. They’re pretty arbitrary, not everyone is going to agree….

It has to be an action film, no romances in my lists
It has to be a film I could watch over and over again – it can’t be a blockbuster if one viewing is enough
It’s not an animation (no matter how good it is)
The time of year matters – Die Hard is a brilliant, brilliant film but it’s set at Christmas, not summer
There has to be personality in there, no pointless sequels churned out just for filthy lucre.

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